• Budget Smart Cook

    After School Snacks

    One thing I remember about my school days is coming home so hungry that I’d grab the first thing I saw sitting in the pantry. And I’m afraid to say that it was usually a handful of cookies or a bag of chips. All kids get hungry and can’t always wait until dinnertime to refuel after a long day at school. But you don’t want them loading up on too many calories and then not eating dinner. A compromise is a small snack. Here are some ideas for keeping after school snacks both fun and healthful. Portion Control One of the biggest problems is letting your kids pick and choose…

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  • Budget Smart Girl's Guide

    The Budget Smart Girl’s Guide to Ways to Save Money this Fall

    I’m always just a little sad to see summer coming to an end. But if you start thinking like a true Budget Smart Girl, there are plenty of things to love about the beginning of fall. Autumn can mean plenty of ways to save money. Here’s how- Grab the Last of the Summer Bounty I’m still seeing the produce department at my local supermarket brimming with items like corn, beans, tomatoes, herbs. Plan ahead and turn them into salsa, sun dried tomatoes, and yes, even soups. Grab the Fall Produce September means the beginning of apple season and once again think ahead to meals for the colder days that are…

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  • Budget Smart Cook

    Packing a Budget Friendly School Lunchbox

    Back to school not only means getting back to a regular routine, but also thinking about what to put in the school lunchbox every day. Food prices might be on the increase, but that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice taste and nutrition. Get the Children Involved One sure way to waste money is to pack a lunch that goes uneaten. An easy way to avoid this is to get children involved in planning what they want to eat. Younger children can help pack their box while older ones can even help put together things like trail mixes and sandwiches. If children feel they have some control over a situation…

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  • Budget Smart Girl's Guide

    The Budget Smart Girl’s Guide to What to Wear this Fall

    I know it’s tough, but sometimes being a slave to fashion trends can cost you big time. And I speak from experience. One way to look fashionable and not break the bank is to stay with the basics. Stick with what you know suits your body type. And always ask yourself, ‘would I really wear this if it wasn’t in style?’ If you can’t say yes with all honesty, put it back on the rail. I’ve been reading through some fashion magazines and trying to get a feel for what’s going to be hot this fall. Thankfully, it looks like nothing too outrageous is hitting the stores this year. Any…

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    The Blog-The Lazy Days of Summer

    Where did summer go? Seems like only yesterday if was Independence Day. I have a ton of stuff I want to get done in the next couple of weeks. One is head to the farmer’s market and pick up some produce to turn into meals for fall and winter. One of my biggest splurges at the supermarket is sundried tomatoes. I love to eat them in grilled cheese sandwiches, omelets, you name it. Yes, they’re pricey and easy to make yourself. Every summer I vow to buy a tray of tomatoes and make my own but I never get around to it. Just the other day I received a cooking…

  • Products and Companies Worth Checking Out

    Check Out this New Book

    Here’s a book that I know all Budget Smart Girls will enjoy reading. The Budget Savvy Lesson Plan by Melissa Tosetti and Kevin Gibbons. Melissa is the creator of Budget Savvy Magazine which was a print publication but now is an online magazine. I’ve written a couple of articles for Melissa. She shares my philosophy about being budget smart while still enjoying the good life, so I know you’ll love the Budget Savvy Lesson Plan. It’s $12.95 and here’s a link that will tell you more about it and how you can order a copy. http://budgetsavvylessonplan.com

  • Budget Smart Girl's Guide

    The Budget Smart Girl’s Guide to Making the Most of August Sales

    It’s that time again, shopping for back to school items. And while you might dread the bite it takes out of your budget, there are plenty of reasons for Budget Smart Girls to smile during August. Sales, Sales and more Sales Retailers know times are tough and that means more sales and more bargains for us as they try to compete for our money. I’ve seen back to school sales promoted in just about every place I’ve shopped…from the drug store to the supermarket. Lunchtime Supplies Other items I’m seeing deeply discounted are lunchbox related ones like thermos, etc. While you’re picking up a couple for the kids, why not…

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  • Budget Smart Cook

    It’s Time for Lasagna

    I’m not sure if it’s the avid cook in me, but I’m often fascinated to learn about the association between certain foods and days and/or months. For example, did you know that August is paired with lasagna? Don’t ask me how that association came about, but one thing I do know is that lasagna is a very budget friendly meal. Pasta is always one of the best bargains at the store, it’s fast and easy to prepare too. Most lasagna recipes use a cheaper cut of meat like ground beef. And the rest of the ingredients that make up a lasagna won’t break the bank either. Lasagna can be made…

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    The Blog-Sometimes You Get Sidelined

    This week I’m battling a nasty summer bug that’s been plaguing my household the last couple of weeks. I thought I was going to avoid it, and then, wham, it hit me. It’s part cold, part laryngitis, and not to mention a case of Pink Eye thrown in for good measure. It’s thrown me off schedule for the projects I’ve been working on, and needless to say I’ve been relying on quick meals for supper each day. Yes, I’ve been sidelined from my usual routine and work, which got me thinking about why it’s important to have a financial safety net in place at all times. While this might be…

  • Budget Smart Cook

    How A Food Makeover Can Save You Money

    Most people think that eating healthful foods and adopting a healthy lifestyle costs a ton of money, but it can actually save you money. First of all, you’re less likely to get sick, which cuts down on the price of health care and lost wages when you have to call in sick at work. And secondly, if you fill your grocery cart with junk food, your grocery budget starts to fill the pinch. Here are my easy steps to getting a food makeover Learn to Read Nutrition Labels An easy way to eat nutritious foods and save money is to learn how to read food labels. Learn what’s really low…

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